Firefighters battle 50-acre blaze in Wharton State Forest
Fire fighters are battling a wildfire in Wharton State Forest in South Jersey that is at least half contained, according to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
The New Jersey Forest Fire Service reported the fire in Shamong Township along Quaker Bridge Road near Route 206. Crews expect to hold the fire to 50 acres or less, officials said.
"Early this morning, an approximate 50-acre fire was discovered by State Park Police about 2 miles east of the Atsion Office near Philips Bridge," Robert Geist, a spokesman for the NJ DEP said in an emailed statement Sunday afternoon.
Geist said the fire is "along the Quakerbridge Road in Wharton State Forest which was temporarily closed for fire suppression activities."
No alerts or special warnings were been issued about forest fires today as the wind is calmer than Saturday, when a Red Flag Warning was issued. Rain has not fallen in several days in New Jersey and the relative humidity remains low, another key factor in fueling wild fires, officials said.
According to Geist, the blaze was about 50 percent contained as of about 3 p.m. Sunday. he said there is "minimal fire activity associated with this fire" and according to Forest Fire Service, crews are "progressing well toward full containment."
"There are no residences in the vicinity and no evacuations are needed," Geist said.
Several crews from the state's Forest Fire Service responded to the area to help battle the blaze. Geist said responders from Division B and Division C along with six brush trucks, a tractor/plow unit, a drop plane and one helicopter with a bucket were on the scene.
Geist also said that so far, no major roadways have been impacted as a result of the fire.
Dan Alexander and Toniann Antonelli contributed to this report.